The overall objective of the group is to unravel principles of neural computations underlying sensory-motor integration in the vertebrate brain. We use the zebrafish larva as it currently constitutes the only vertebrate system amenable to whole-brain recording with cellular resolution. Using one- or two-photon light-sheet microscopy, we are able to monitor the long-term activity of the quasi-entirety of the 100,000 neurons that comprise the animal brain, as it performs basic sensory-motor tasks.
The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is a major challenge in Neurosciences. This brain region controls behavior adaptation and highercognitive functions that are needed for complex social interaction, abstract thinking, reasoning, planning or creativity.
Our team is composed of cognitive scientists working on the neurobiological and psychological foundations of consciousness. We are especially interested in how conscious and unconscious processes differ at both the psychological and neural level. We use various behavioral methods (e.g., priming, psychophysics) and brain imaging techniques (e.g., fMRI, EEG) to study how humans process things unconsciously (e.g., as in situations of subliminal perception, sleep or hypnosis) and compare it to situations of conscious processing.
Our primary interest is to study the neural time course and correlates underpinning the processing of the early stages of social interactions. We have now set out to address several key issues important to our understanding of the processing of social interactions, for example (i) what is the biological function of spontaneous and involuntary facial reactions when facing emotional events; (ii) how and when do we perceive / decide that we are the target of a communicative intention (iii) how we (decide to) prepare an adapted motor response.
The SAN team gathers together three PIs with complementary expertise in affective neuroscience, social neuroscience, and psychiatry. Our project focuses on the functional neuroanatomy of the emotional brain. We study the brain systems of emotion detection, evaluation, and regulation, with an emphasis on how social processes (eg social inclusion) activate and regulate the emotional brain. Dysfunction of the emotional brain is central to many mental disorders and in particular to major depressive disorder (MDD).
Why do we do what we do? We are largely unaware of our own motives. Our team seeks to understand how motivation works, in both the normal and pathological brain. We define motivation as a set of processes that assign values to potential situations so as to drive behavior.
Our research is closely related to the emerging field of neuroeconomics, which is focused on understanding value-based decision-making and on explaining deviations to rationality. We wish to build a comprehensive account of motivational processes, investigating